News & Information
News and information at the intersection of faith and law; church and state; religion and politics.
Moving an investigation along in a timely way and addressing concerns are important. And the investigation should not begin with assumptions of anyone’s innocence or guilt. It should be possible to show reasonably how the results were reached. If accusations are fabricated... Read More→
Two recent decisions on invocational prayer before local government Board meetings, filed in March of 2013, came out in opposite directions, but give some insight into the legal principles involved in determining whether Boards can properly sponsor a formal prayer before meetings. In Hudson v. Pittsylvania County, the federal district court for the Western District of Virginia issued an injunction against the prayers being offered. In Atheists of Florida v. City of Lakeland, the Eleventh Circuit found no constitutional violation. Different courts on different days, or consistent underlying principles?
05/20/13 . . . The U.S. Supreme Court will review a case alleging that a New York town council violated separation of church and state by beginning most of its meetings with a Christian prayer. The last Supreme Court case on the topic was 30 years ago, and held that legislative meetings may open with prayer as long as they don't advance a single faith. The town does use other prayers, though most are Christian.
05/16/13 . . . A Washington florist declined to provide the flowers for a same-sex ceremony because it violated her religious beliefs. She did not otherwise refuse to serve homosexuals. The Attorney General filed a lawsuit against her, and she has counter-sued on religious liberties principles.
05/17/13 . . . The florist is alleging religious discrimination by the Attorney General, as the state is asking her to violate her deeply held religious beliefs. The ACLU has sued the florist as well.
This is quite helpful Theresa. I think the biggest issue here, is, wait for it, …communication! Part of me still struggles with wondering if it is possible to investigate a complaint by a party, gather information through an investigation through all parties, and end up by determining that the complaining party is more the problem than anyone else. Read More→
05/06/13 ... The government withdrew from an appeal of the lower court ruling in favor of Tyndale House Publishers, perhaps fearing that its argument that Tyndale was not religious enough for a religious exemption would not be plausible.
05/08/13 ... The Thomas More Law Center filed a new lawsuit on the contraception mandate, on behalf of M&N Plastics, a small business run by four Christian brothers. They have never offered insurance covering contraception, sterilization, or abortifacients, and face massive financial penalties.
05/03/13 ... Yet another lawsuit against the HHS contraceptive coverage mandate was filed by the American Freedom Law Center, on behalf of Johnson Welded Products, also owned by a Catholic family.